Looking for a simple and quick appetizer? It’s asparagus season and I wanted an appetizer that would show case this perennial spring favorite. This tart recipe which I adapted from HuffPoste Taste has only four ingredients plus olive oil and a few fresh herbs and spices. It takes less than 10 minutes to assemble and about 12 minutes to cook. Slice into squares and you have an elegant and sophisticated hors d’oeuvre to serve your guests. This is a very forgiving appetizer which doesn’t have to be served piping hot. It’s just as good at room temperature which makes it perfect for a dinner party. Just make the tart ahead and it will sit and wait until you’re ready to serve. You can also halve the recipe to make just one tart, which is enough for 2 to 4 people as an appetizer.
This is not a typical recipe for me since I try to avoid white flour, however, I was intrigued by it’s simplicity and wanted to give it a try. I am a newbie to phyllo dough, which can be tricky to work with since it’s so thin and dries out quickly. Just make sure everything is ready before you unwrap the phyllo dough. Don’t worry if it rips as you handle it because the rips will be hidden within the layers. This is a fairly thin crust (2 sheets of phyllo dough folded in half per tart), just enough to provide a beautiful backdrop for the asparagus and give a satisfying salty, crispy, crunch. If you like a more substantial crust, just add more layers of phyllo. Thin asparagus spears work better than thick which may not end up fully roasted when the phyllo is done. If you don’t like goat cheese, substitute ricotta or gruyere. Fresh herbs are a nice accompaniement but dried herbs will work just fine. If you make it, let me know how it goes!
Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart
1/4 cup olive oil
6 oz goat cheese (ricotta or gruyere)
1 bunch slender asparagus 2 Tbsn grated parmesan (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper fresh thyme, rosemary and/or basil (optional)